The last two week’s articles were tips for law firm management based on a book Run Less Run Faster. The first article, Can Lawyer’s Learn from Runners focused on developing a detailed action plan, similar to what a runner would use as a training program for a marathon, complete with dates, pace and distance of [...]
The last two week’s articles were tips for law firm management based on a book Run Less Run Faster. The first article, Can Lawyer’s Learn from Runners focused on developing a detailed action plan, similar to what a runner would use as a training program for a marathon, complete with dates, pace and distance of each run. Last week’s article, Fresh Eyes Can Uncover Revenue Right Under Your Nose, focused on looking at your firm with a purpose. Similar to focusing on quality runs vs. the quantity of runs and number of miles each week, it’s important for a firm to stop doing things because that is the way they’ve been done. There are better ways to run a law firm, just take a fresh look at your processes and look for opportunities to improve.
This week we focus on running the race and what to do once you when you hit your milestones. In other words, your job is not done after developing an action plan and you begin ticking off the tasks to be done. Too many people start strong at the beginning of the race, let’s call it being overly ambitious, and set unrealistic times to make it to certain checkpoints. Unfortunately, the second half of the race is much slower than the first, your ambition is diminishing and you even think about not finishing. The idea is to know how to pace the tasks at hand.
The ins-and-outs of a law firm do not stop when you have an action plan to execute. Clients need legal work, bills continue to come in, payroll has to be met and someone has to run the law firm. In the running world, pacing begins with training. Runners can become overloaded with training, get burned out or even obtain injuries. What you eat and how much sleep you get can impact a run. But pacing does not also mean you can’t complete items off of your plan. When training for a marathon, the training gets progressively harder as your fitness level improves. You do not start out of the gate doing a 15 mile run the first week of training. Likewise, with your action plan, take into consideration other stress factors when assigning due dates and ownership of a task. Do you have a large case trying to be settled or going to trial? Is the first week of the month bad for most employees because you are trying to get billing out the door? Is it the middle of summer or around the holidays and you have staff out on vacation? Do you have resources that can help or do you need to hire a temporary receptionist, legal assistant or paralegal to help out? Also it takes time and practice to get better at doing something. Give yourself time to learn a new skill, gather the relevant information and ask for professional help when needed.
Like runners, once you have trained and ran a race, you are in shape, so don’t let that hard work go to waste, sign up for another race. You are training to be a better leader, manager and business owner. Don’t let the good work habits you’ve developed go to waste. Be sure to put a line item on your action plan to review and plan out for the next project that needs to be addressed for your law firm.